The family members numbering three expressed dissatisfaction over the FG’s handling of the case, lamenting that Nigerian Government is not doing enough to address the case.
Speaking while registering their anger at the Ministry of Foreign affairs in Abuja yesterday, the family members noted that over 50 Indians are living in their community, Egbema local government area of Imo State, where the deceased hailed from.
They stated that since 1957, Indians have been living in Egbema and there has never been any case of any Indian being assaulted or killed. They stressed that they had been patient enough and that in as much as they recognise the strong diplomatic ties between Nigeria and India, which is why they have been waiting, they wish for the Nigerian government to do the right thing.
“As we speak with you; we have over 50 Indians who live in our community. Ohaji Egbema is an oil producing local government; we have oil companies in our community where Indians work. Since 1957 when oil was discovered in Ohaji Egbema, Indians have been in our land and we’ve never harmed any of them. So, we see no reason why our son should be that wickedly murdered. I see no reason why Simeon Obodo should be treated like an animal.
“If not for diplomatic relations, we have the opportunity to mete out wickedness to any Indian or foreigner who lives there but we said no because Nigeria has a good diplomatic relations with India. That’s why we are here today to protest that we are bitter and shattered by such gruesome murder of our beloved son.
“This man in question was second in the line of succession to the deity of our people so, now that he has been brutally murdered, what happens? He has a mother who is over 70 years old, who will take care of her? The Nigerians who protested were all rounded up and nothing is happening. So, we are here to reject the government’s position because we think that more should be done on the side of the Nigerian government,” Esinkonye Ejike Enyioha said on behalf of the bereaved family.
Also, the family members are calling on FG to ensure that all the detained Nigerians are freed and the remains of Simeon should be flown down to Egbema and be given a befitting burial.
In her response, the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof Viola Onwuliri, appealed for calm and restraint, adding that the Federal Government would dispatch a high-level delegation to India this week to sign three agreements with the Indian government on the safety of all Nigerians in that country.
Onwuliri listed the agreements as the Mutual Legal Assistant, Extradition Treaty and Transfer of Prisoners. The minister, who described the death of the Nigerian as reprehensible, however, said that Obodo’s unfortunate demise would fast-track the signing of the agreements with India.